Paris Motor Show: Nissan Nuvu Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2008

As you may know already, the streets are full of cars and their number is permanently increasing. In order to find a solution at this problem, Nissan unveiled today , at the Paris Motor Show, the new Nuvu Concept. According to the manufacturer, the new Nuvu represents the future of the city car featuring an all-electric engine.

The vehicle is built on a unique platform and measures 3.0m in length, 1.55 m in height, has a width of 1.7m and sits on a wheelsbase of 1980 mm. These dimensions are perfect for a city car but also provide all the interior room needed for the vast majority of city journeys. At the interior the new concept features 3 seats: driver, co-driver and the third seat which, when is not used, is folded away into the dashboard assembly.

Nissan also explaines why there are only three seats in the car: We did a great deal of research into how people use their cars in the city. We found that for 90 percent of the time, the driver was alone. For five percent of the time there was one passenger and for four percent of the time there were two passengers.

You can do the math to find out how often four or more people were in the car! We gave the second seat much more room than normal because when you take one passenger in your car it is usually someone you love and you want to make sure he or she is being carried in outstanding comfort, says Francois Bancon, General Manager, Exploratory and Advance Planning Department, Product Strategy and Product Planning Division, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.

The new Nuvu Concept is built using natural, organic and recycled materials: the floor is made from wood fiber pressed into laminate sheets and studded with rubber insertions made from recycled tires for grip.

What is really interesting about this car are the solar panels mounted on the glass roof, which not only protects the occupants from the sunlight, but also absorb energy from the sun, recharging th battery and providing an extra power boost for the electric motor. Due to the fact that is a car built for the city, the driver controls are very simple: braking, transmission and throttle are by wire while the steering is controlled by an aircraft-style steering yoke.

Due to the new steering Nuvu's turning circle is just 3.7 meters. Also, for better handling and due to the lack of door mirrors, the concept features two displays at the interior: one shows the view behind the camera while both of them show the around view camera which give a bird‚ eye view of the car when maneuvering or parking.

The engine of the vehicle is mounted at the rear and has a range of 125 km or 77.6 miles, while the top speed is 120 km/h or 74 mph. A quick charge of the battery from empty to full should take, according to the manufacturer, between 10 to 20 minutes while a full charge should take between three to four hours from a domestic 220v socket.  Nuvu is a concept car, for sure, but it is an entirely credible vehicle, says Bancon. It is light, clean and easy to drive. It is practical and a sensible size, yet it is also embodies an element of fun: the future doesn´t look so bad, after all.

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